It’s Friday, which means this SHIT WEEK IS OVER.
Here’s an adorable baby Brazilian possum munching a bug that you need to see.
WHY, IN ALL MY LIFE, IN ALL MY TIME ONLINE
HAS NOBODY TOLD ME ABOUT TINY BRAZILLIAN POSSUMS
UNTIL TONIGHT pic.twitter.com/xD8m2KyA34
— nome (@NomeDaBarbarian) February 7, 2021
Black Lives Matter
So, The Bachelor situation. As I mentioned last week, things are going awry over at America’s favorite relationship fantasy series.
Last week, Rachael Kirkconnell, one of the frontrunners on the first Black Bachelor Matt James’ season, apologized for attending an antebellum-themed party in 2018, and liking pictures of her friends in front of Confederate flags and dressed as Mexicans. She also has been accused by some high school classmates of making fun of them for dating Black boys, but she has not addressed this specifically.
Chris Harrison was then interviewed by Rachel Lindsey, the show’s first Black Bachelorette, where he defended Kirkconnell with the argument that you can’t judge 2018 behavior by 2021 standards, referred to Kirkconnell as a “girl” multiple times, and yammered about “woke” cancel culture:
Harrison apologized on his Instagram soon after — which is where we here at Foolish left the story before the world came to an end in Texas.
“I’m f–king tired. I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough,” Lindsay said on Friday’s episode of her Higher Learning podcast with Van Lathan. “How much more do I want to be affiliated with this?… I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. Okay, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant. Who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that?… I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too.”
She says that she and Harrison spoke privately after the interview, and stated that she appreciates his apology, “but I’m having a really, really hard time, reasoning, or, like, really taking in and accepting this apology.”
“During that conversation, he talked over me and at me, during that conversation,” Lindsay said. “He never gave me room to talk. And he never gave me room to share my perspective. He wasn’t trying to hear it. He was just trying to be heard. And that’s because I felt like he had an agenda that he was trying to push. He was really trying to push that forward. He expressed everything that he said, with passion and conviction. So, for me, Tuesday is what it was. And I’m not saying that he can’t be apologetic. I’m not saying that he can’t learn and be better from it.”
Will the show learn from this and change some of its questionable editing choices and casting decisions? Can a show that is based on such a reactionary concept of heterosexual relationships fundamentally change? I genuinely don’t know! But it will be interesting seeing what they do moving forward — whether they try to actually overhaul how they cast the show and shape a narrative or if they just make some meaningless cosmetic changes.
I’ve been giving this story a lot of thought since it originally broke this weekend, and I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, not to defend him, but as a fellow privileged white Texan and fellow parent of a college student, I know where Chris Harrison was coming from when he made his insensitive comments.
For starters, there’s an element of Chris Harrison: Dad at work here. I believe his emphasis on Kirkconnell’s age and how these “girls” just didn’t know any better stems from being a parent of an 18-year-old college freshman who struggles to see his child as an adult. His son is in college like Kirkconnell was when she took that photo, and his son is just a “kid,” therefore this 21-year-old woman was just a “kid,” too. “They’re just kids! Kids do stupid things! Give them a break!” This is a really good essay on why calling Rachel Kirkconnell a “girl” is a patronizing whitewash, basically saying “girls will be girls” — which is an excuse no Black girl or woman is afforded.
But the bigger problem lies in Southern culture in general. It can be hard for those of us white folks who grew up in the South to confront what we have been conditioned to see as symbols of our “history” for what they really are: symbols of oppression and racial violence and terror. Call it the Gone with the Wind mentality: “Yes, obviously slavery existed, and it was very bad, and we are very sorry about it, but look at the pretty dresses and plantations! So pretty!”
The reason this mentality is so harmful is that it is just an excuse to not have to do the hard work of really examining one’s own internalized racism and recognizing and dismantling the systemic racism that permeates our society. “It’s just a plantation house! It doesn’t mean anything! Lighten up!”
On the other hand, while I don’t actually believe Chris Harrison is racist, I do think he is being lazy in this interview with Lindsey. He’s not trying to hear her position, he just wants the conversation to end, and to shield himself and the show from having to do any real work or make any actual changes. It’s worth watching the clip: it really helps shine a light on why Lindsey was so frustrated with him and how dismissive he was of her feelings and opinions in favor of protecting a White girl from deserved criticism.
A quick personal story: 20 years ago, my grandfather had his third wedding here in Houston in a bar — the kind of bar that proudly hangs “Don’t Tread On Me” and Confederate flags. And in fact, a photograph of me holding my infant son was taken with that Confederate flag hanging in the background.
Now, I hope by now you know me well enough to know what my position on the Confederate flag is: burn all of them. But the sad, unfortunate truth is that here in Texas, like many places in the South, the Confederate flag can sometimes be hard to escape. I was there to celebrate my grandfather’s wedding, I wasn’t there to celebrate racism. And yet, here I am in a photo with this symbol of hate hanging above my shoulder.
But here’s the difference between me and Chris Harrison and Rachel Kirkconnell: Despite the fact that this is one of my favorite photographs of myself — I look so cute! and young! — I’ve never shared it online because I don’t want people to think that I approve of that fucking flag, and — AND! — I wouldn’t want any of my friends to like the photo in a friendly “yay, I like you!” kind of way and then be accused of approving of the flag themselves — the way Kirkconnell has been. We have to be conscious of these symbols and not glorify them, even unintentionally. And when someone does attend an antebellum-themed party or has their wedding at a plantation or displays the Confederate flag, it’s important to point out why it’s hurtful, and encourage them to educate themselves — not protect them from their ignorance or racism.
It’s sticky, and I’m glad both Kirkconnell and Harrison have come to realize that they need to apologize and learn from this entire situation. I just wish Harrison, who should know better, had tried harder to listen to Lindsey than to defend Kirkconnell.
And one more Bachelor-related note: Demi Burnett is really sorry for wearing a Yeezy jacket that had a Confederate flag on it. As to why Kanye West would make such a thing …
Attacks on Asian-Americans are continuing. The mother of one of Olivia Nunn’s friends was attacked in Queens — and she’s just one of many. The attacker has been arrested thanks to Nunn’s celebrity and internet presence.
“To this day, I am still haunted by the mirth of white audiences, the uproarious laughter when Eastwood’s curmudgeonly racist character, Walt Kowalski, growled a slur. ‘Gook.’ ‘Slope head.’ ‘Eggroll.’ It’s a ‘harmless joke,’ right? Until it’s not just a joke, but rather one more excuse for ignoring white supremacy and racism,” the essay reads. “For Asian Americans, this is the time to demand recognition, not to recoil into a cocoon of model-minority pusillanimity. Showing ‘our American-ness’ was never enough. This is a deceit of multiculturalism.”
Starz is doing a good job of becoming more inclusive: their executive team is 50% women of color; the leads on their shows are 58% women and over 63% people of color; and the showrunners are nearly 55% women and 45.5% people of color. They are launching the #TakeTheLead initiative to continue its commitment to emphasize underrepresented voices.
All Other TV News
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has backed down from that Emmys change that would have put late-night shows in the same category as sketch comedy shows. Good. It was a stupid idea to begin with.
People love them some WandaVision. By the way, you’re going to want to watch the credits in this week’s episode. And here are some essential Scarlet Witch and Vision comics to read if you just can’t get enough — or want to know what’s going on.
Roku now has 51.2 million subscribers because streaming is the future of television.
This is interesting: The Walking Dead pays its actors more to NOT attend conventions. Huh.
Some hilarious #CancunCruz updates since I posted yesterday:
Despite his insistence that this was all his preteen daughter’s idea to abandon the state while his constituents were suffering, some friends of Ted and Heidi Cruz’s gave The New York Times some text messages suggesting otherwise:
— Bradley Beychok (@beychok) February 18, 2021
Take the warmth where you can get it, Texas. pic.twitter.com/5AQwyW69Qo
— Sara Cress (@saracress) February 19, 2021
And parents at St. John’s School piled on:
Don’t get on the bad side of the private school parents pic.twitter.com/29jWhtgFrS
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 18, 2021
LOL, Nobody likes Ted Cruz.
Oh, and they also abandoned their poodle, named — and I could not make this up if I tried — “Snowflake” in the dark, cold house. But don’t worry, there was a security guard around to feed her. JUSTICE FOR SNOWFLAKE.
Gosh, Cruz’s poodle, Snowflake is all Texans. Abandoned in the dark. pic.twitter.com/X6rvQr0j7q
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) February 19, 2021
Also, don’t listen to Rafael talking here, listen to the background:
Sen. Ted Cruz, back in Texas, says it was "obviously a mistake" to go to Cancun.
You can hear protestors chanting "Resign!" in the background. pic.twitter.com/FwA6Dsg4fv
— The Recount (@therecount) February 19, 2021
That’s delicious, but it’s still not my favorite Ted Cruz heckler video — that would be this one from 2016. “I don’t feel so good! Ted Cruz looks so weird! [pretends to barf]”:
— Scott Bauer (@sbauerAP) February 1, 2016
We are now somewhere between 505,000 and 493,000 American deaths from COVID-19.
But in some hopeful news, it looks like the Pfizer vaccine is effective with only one dose. It will be interesting to see if we adjust our protocols to get more people vaccinated faster as a result.
Governor Cuomo is in a shitload of trouble for deliberately withholding information and data on deaths in nursing homes in the spring. IT’S NOT GOOD. Both Democrats and Republicans are calling for his emergency powers to be stripped and a possible impeachment inquiry. This was the same guy who WROTE A BOOK about what a good job he did during the pandemic. Yikes.
These ding-dongs. I hear Cancun is a lot cheaper and doesn’t require quarantining.
Please keep this Texas family in your thoughts: they lost their father to COVID three weeks ago, and now their house to a fire in their efforts to stay warm. If you want to help, they’ve started a GoFundMe.
- I Hate Suzie has been renewed for a second season at Sky (and presumably HBO Max).
- The Celebrity Dating Game, hosted by Zooey Deschanel and Michael Bolton, has been ordered at ABC.
- FBI: International is being talked about at CBS.
- Roadmarks, a sci-fi series produced by George R.R. Martin, is in development at HBO.
- Choir, a reality series about the Detroit Youth Choir, has been picked up at Disney+.
- Neglected Murderesses is being turned into a live-action series by Norman Reedus’ production company at AMC.
- Sulwe is being adapted into an animated musical at Netflix.
- Havoc, a crime drama starring Tom Hardy, is being made at Netflix.
- Voluntary Committal, a psychological supernatural thriller based on a Joe Hill novel is in the works at Paramount+.
- Tulsa Burning has been ordered at History Channel.
- Covenant, a series that makes modern adaptations of classic Bible stories, has been ordered at ALLBLK.
- A documentary about MoviePass is being made by Mark Wahlberg’s production company.
- A documentary based on the book Big Vape is in the works.
- Juventus will be the subject of Amazon’s All or Nothing documentary series.
- The Real World Homecoming: New York, a reunion of the original Real World cast, is coming to Paramount+.
- A comedy about a group of teens trying to solve the murder of Biggie Smalls is coming to Showtime.
- Gold Diggers is being adapted into a TV series.
- Torn From Her Arms, a movie inspired by the separation of six-year-old Jimena Madrid from her mother at the U.S. border that was captured in that now-famous photo, is coming to Lifetime.
- Monte-Cristo is being adapted into a TV series.
- Diamonds, a crime drama, is being made at Netflix.
- Ragdoll is being turned into a series at AMC.
- Shudder has picked up a new untitled Black horror anthology series.
- Fall: the Mystery of Robert Maxwell is being developed into a TV series.
- AMC+ has ordered three foreign crime dramas: Kin; Cold Courage; and Too Close.
- 60 in 6, Quibi’s 60 Minutes series, is being revived at Paramount+.
- HBO Max and the Cartoon Network are launching Cartoonito, a preschool programming block that will have 50 titles available in two years.
- Django, a western series, is being made at Sky and Canal Plus.
- Jakob’s Wife is coming to Shudder.
- We Hunt the Flame is being turned into a series by STXtv.
- Melissa Benoist has signed an overall deal with Warner Brothers.
- Jami O’Brien has signed a two-year deal with HBO.
- State Street Pictures has signed a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television.
- Apple and Skydance have signed a deal.
- Jennifer Garner will star in Family Leave on Netflix.
- Jesse Plemons is replacing Leonardo di Caprio in Killers of the Flower Moon on Apple+.
- Aaron Eckhart is your new Gerald Ford.
- Minnie Driver is joining Modern Love on Amazon.
- Archie Panjabi is joining the cast of Snowpiercer on TNT.
- Uzo Aduba will star in Low Country from Robert and Michelle King.
- Kate McKinnon will no longer star in The Dropout on Hulu. ~make lazy dropout joke here~
- Simone Ashley is joining Bridgerton as the female lead for season two.
- Courtney Bandeko is joining Legacies on The CW.
- Stephanie Vogt wills star in Glória on Netflix.
- Danielle Moné Truitt is joining Law & Order: Organized Crime on NBC.
- Angel Parker and Billy Campbell will star in National Parks on ABC.
- Alexandra Grey, Ernie Hudson, and Wendy Raquel Robinson are all joining MacGyver on CBS.
- John Wesley Shipp will guest star on Stargirl on The CW.
- Ludi Lin is joining the cast of Kung Fu on The CW.
- Aunjanue Ellis and Andrene Ward-Hammond have been cast in 61st Street on AMC.
- Jane Fonda has been cast as the lead in the animated Apple film, Luck.
- Ming-Na Wen, BD Wong, and James Hong, and Matthew Rhys have been added to the voice cast of Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai on HBO Max.
- William Hurt, Maude Apatow, Corey Stoll, and Lara Pulver have been added to the voice cast of the AMC animated series Pantheon.
- Sibongile Mlambo, Alexander Hodge, and James Roch have been added to the cast of Painkiller on The CW.
- Brooke Baldwin is leaving CNN. Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell are taking over her spot.
- Lili Simmons, Gabrielle Ryan, Isaac Keys, Shane Harper, Kris D. Lofton, Anthony Fleming III, Lucien Cambric, and Tommy Flanagan have been added to the cast of Power Book IV: Force on Starz.
- Yanic Truesdale, Usman Ally, Ana Scotney, Chris Sandiford, and Steve Mallory are joining the Netflix series God’s Favorite Idiot.
- Roselyn Sánchez, Sylvia Sáenz, and Jeimy Osorio have been cast in the Peacock dramedy Armas De Mujer.
- Sasha Lane, Alison Oliver, Joe Alwyn, and Jemima Kirke have been cast in Conversations With Friends on Hulu.
- Mackenzie Lansing, Kate Arrington, Ruby Cruz, Eisa Davis, Enid Graham, Justin Hurtt-Dunkley, Izzy King, Jack Mulhern, Anthony Norman, Drew Scheid, and Madeleine Weinstein have been added to the cast of Mare of Easttown on HBO.
- Tawny Newsome, Paul Adelstein, Will Catlett, Chris Diamantopoulos, Billy Zane, Lauren London, Ash Santos, and John Ales have been added to the cast of True Story on Netflix.
- Yandy Smith-Harris and Mendeecees Harris; Rasheeda and Kirk Frost; Ray J and Princess Love, Raymond Santana and Deelishis, and Michael Blackson with his significant other Rada will star in VH1’s Couples Retreat on VH1.
- Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair will guest star on Punky Brewster on Peacock.
- Helena Bonham Carter and David Mitchell have been cast in The Cleaner on BBC.
- Matthias Schoenaerts has been cast as the lead in Django on Sky.
- Kate Chastain is leaving Bravo Chat Room.
Mark Your Calendar
- Kevin Can Fuck Himself will debut on AMC this summer.
- Mortal Kombat will premiere on HBO Max and in theaters on April 16.
- Good Girls will return on NBC on March 7.
- Final Space will return on HBO Max on March 1.
- Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy will have a crossover event on March 11.
- Godfather of Harlem will return on Epix on April 18.
- The Moodys will return on Fox on April 1.
- Millennials will debut on ALLBLK sometime soon.
- Creepshow returns on Shudder on April 1.
- VH1 Couples Retreat will premiere on VH1 on March 29.
- Bloodlands will premiere on AcornTV on March 15.
- Sky Rojo will debut on Netflix on March 19.
- Just Say Yes will debut on Netflix on April 2.
- Formula 1: Drive to Survive returns on Netflix on March 19.
- DOTA: Dragon’s Blood will premiere on Netflix on March 25.
- Waka & Tammy: What the Flocka will return on WE tv on March 18.
- Word Party will premiere on Nickelodeon Jr. on March 2.
- Abla Fahita: Drama Queen will premiere on Nickelodeon sometime soon.
- Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! will premiere on Netflix on April 14.
- The Beast Must Die will premiere on AMC this spring.
- Reminiscence will debut on HBO Max on September 3.
- The One will debut on Netflix on March 12.
- Worth will premiere on Netflix in September.
- Doctor Who: Fury from the Deep will premiere on AMC+ on March 15 and BBC on March 21.
- Ride With Norman Reedus returns on AMC on March 7.
- The Blended Bunch will debut on TLC on March 16.
- Everything But the House will premiere on HGTV on March 19.
- Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 will air on Nickelodeon on March 13.
- 56th Academy of Country Music Awards will air on CBS on April 18.
- The Adventures of Paddington will return on Nickelodeon today.
- Moonshiners: Smoke Ring will begin streaming on Discovery+ on March 9.
- The Zoo: San Diego is now streaming on Discovery+.
- Discovery+ has made a number of March premiere announcements.
Prince Markie Dee, Rapper and member of The Fat Boys
Vincent Jackson, Former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Bucs player
Zachary Wohlman, Boxer and subject of the documentary series Why We Fight
Lynn Stalmaster, Oscar-winning casting director
James Gunn, Prolific sci-fi author, and editor. One of his novels was the inspiration for the ’70s TV movie and series The Immortal.
John Caldon, Founder of Flame Media
I Care A Lot: Rosamund Pike stars in this dark comedy about a woman who cons the wrong elderly person. Premiere. Netflix
Tribes of Europa: In this German series, after a global catastrophe that causes Europe to break up into warring tribal factions, three siblings hope to change the future with a mysterious cube. Series premiere. Netflix
Patrice O’Neal: Killin’ is Easy: A documentary about the influential comedian who passed away much too young. 9 p.m., Comedy Central
Saturday Night Live: Regé-Jean Page and Bad Bunny. 10:30 p.m., NBC
The Long Island Serial Killer; A Mother’s Hunt for Justice: The story of Mari Gilbert’s hunt for justice for her daughter Shannen, which exposes a monster who had been operating in the Long Island area for a decade. 7 p.m., Lifetime
Attack of the Murder Hornets: The story of a crew of beekeepers and scientists who work together to protect their community from the Asian giant hornet, one of 2020’s fun little surprises. Premiere. Discovery+
Allen v. Farrow: This four-part documentary series takes a look at one of the most notorious and fraught Hollywood scandals of all time. Premiere. 8 p.m., HBO
Boiling Point: This series explores how America has arrived at the Black Lives Matters reckoning that erupted here and around the world last summer. Series premiere. 7 p.m., BET
Disrupt & Dismantle: Soledad O’Brien hosts this new series that examines problems within communities, speaks truth to power, and offers action items on how to solve these issues. Series premiere. 8 p.m., BET
Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine: Three-part documentary that follows the rise and fall of the notorious rapper. Premiere. 9 p.m., Showtime
The Walking Dead: Hey, you can watch the 10th season winter premiere early if you have a subscription to AMC+. AMC+
|CW||Whose Line Is It Anyway?
|Whose Line Is It Anyway?
|Penn & Teller: Fool Us
|FOX||Friday Night Smackdown||Local|
|CBS||NCIS: Los Angeles
|48 Hours||48 Hours||News/Local|
|Name That Tune
|NBC||Ellen’s Game of Games
|Saturday Night Live
|Saturday Night Live
|ABC||America’s Funniest Home Videos
|CBS||60 Minutes||NCIS: Los Angeles
|NCIS: New Orleans
|Bless the Harts
|The Great North